23 Aug 2012

The important and wide-ranging benefits Scotland’s network of Community Pharmacies brings to patients were highlighted when local MSP, John Mason, took time to visit the Co-operative Pharmacy in Shettleston recently.

The East End’s MSP was given information on the range of services delivered to 600,000 patients who go through the door of Scotland’s community pharmacies every day – including the Chronic Medication Service, the public health campaigns and successful interventions such as smoking cessation.

The network of around 1237 healthcare facilities ensures that community pharmacies provide the modern NHS with its’ most accessible point of contact in communities throughout the country.

The visit was organised by Community Pharmacy Scotland, which represents the interests of the owners of Scotland’s community pharmacies, to help Mr Mason see for himself the positive contribution that a modern pharmacy can have on a community’s health.

Speaking after his visit, SNP MSP, John Mason, commented:

“It is no secret that Shettleston doesn’t have the best health statistics in Scotland, so the service that Community Pharmacies provide is absolutely essential.  I was grateful to have the opportunity to see – first hand – the good work that the Co-operative Pharmacy is doing in my constituency”.

‘I was extremely impressed by this visit and it helped me understand better the role of the pharmacy in the community.  Whereas GP practices often struggle to give patients time, it is clear that staff in a pharmacy can build up a real relationship with patients and support them, whether it be in dealing with the side effects of medication or in their struggle to give up smoking.’

Matt Barclay, Policy Pharmacist for Community Pharmacy Scotland, added:

“Community Pharmacy Scotland is always looking to engage and work in partnership with political decision makers on those policies affecting healthcare and pharmacies. So we are delighted that Mr Mason has taken the time to see the services being delivered by the local Co-op Pharmacy.

“Staff from the pharmacy kindly spent time explaining the services provided by all community pharmacies in Scotland.  It was useful to demonstrate to Mr Mason the investment, in both premises and services that can make a real difference in a community’s health and wellbeing.”